Building brands in Africa
To reach Africa's poorest consumers, face-to-face contact works best
DISPOSABLE nappies take up much of the shelf space at the ABC Supermarket in Kliptown, a district of Soweto, an urban sprawl west ofJohannesburg.
Kliptown is a baby town, says Mossa, the ABC's owner.
His store carries a wide range of nappies, from global brands such as Huggies and Pampers to less familiar lines fromEgyptandTurkey.
Outside its doors a team of locals is promoting Huggies to passing mums.
Like Pampers they are sold singly so parents can buy one for when a reliable nappy is critical.
However, says the team leader, Sipho, Huggies also come in a bag that will safely store a used nappy until it can be binned.
Sipho's team works for The Creative Counsel, a firm that specialises in marketing to the poorest consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, a term popularised by the late C.K. Prahalad, a management guru.
TCC was established in 2001 as a two-person advertising agency by Ran Neu-Ner and Gil Oved.
TCC公司于2001年有两个广告代理机构Ran Neu-Ner 和 Gil Oved创建。
It has grown into one of South Africa's largest.
As well as Kimberley-Clark, the maker of Huggies, its clients include Unilever, Danone and Vodacom, part of Vodafone.
TCC wins business because, as well as crafting a sales message, it can deploy a small army of people like Sipho to deliver it.
In the past international firms often took a simplistic view that African consumers aspired to a Western lifestyle, says Mr Oved.
But billboard and newspaper campaigns based on that premise lacked impact.
Imported television ads dubbed in local vernacular were scorned.
Building brand loyalty among low-income shoppers is a job best done by folk who speak the language and know the lives of people they are selling to.
That is why in places like Soweto TCC employs locals to work as cheerleaders for brands.
Its promoters can be found in strip malls and taxi ranks, and at funerals and weddings.
Red-shirted Vodacom promoters dispense advice on phones and call plans.
Envoys for Unilever inSowetomake up to 100 house calls a day hawking Lipton teas, Knorr seasonings and other products from the firm's range.
On a busy weekend TCC might have 10,000 promoters at work.
To manage this army requires hundreds of office staff and no little technology.
The firm thus employs an unusual mix of logistic and artistic people.
On-the-ground intelligence about how a new campaign is faring is fed back to headquarters, so it can be tweaked if need be.
Marketing types the world over know that word-of-mouth recommendations carry more punch than advertisements.
This is especially true inAfrica, where the mass media are fragmented and brands less familiar.
Shoppers on tight budgets can ill afford to make bad choices.
They value advice from peers and a chance to sample before they buy.
And they repay such engagement with loyalty.
A survey last year by McKinsey, a consultancy, found that 59% of African grocery shoppers stuck with their favoured brands, compared with 38% that chose the cheapest deal on offer.
Yet creating loyalty is only half of the battle.
Brands must first be on the shelf before they can fly off it.
Around three-quarters of the money spent in Soweto is captured by informal traders, who sell from spazas (kiosks) and makeshift stalls, says G.G.
Alcock, the boss of Minanawe, an agency that has built a big database of such outlets.
TCC bought a stake in Minanawe in 2011.
It realised it had to devise marketing campaigns for informal traders in parallel with the promotions that it was aiming at consumers.
Even the biggest branded-goods firms see value in building links with the spazas.
Minanawe advised Parmalat on such a campaign.
The Italian dairy giant supplied branded menu boards and aprons toSoweto's informal food kiosks to promote the sale of its cheese slices in kotas, quarter-loaves of bread stuffed with chips and a variety of meats.
The market is bigger than it might seem.
Marks, the owner of a modest-looking fast-food spaza in Soweto, says he sells 2,400 kotas a day and spends 20,000 rand each morning on ingredients at his wholesalers.
He may not look it, but he is quite the big cheese.
Face-to-face contact in gay neighborhoods became increasingly dispensable.
The challenge to their moral sensibility was face-to-face.
2.such as 例如； 譬如
degenerative diseases such as arthritis
Humans cannot digest plants such as grass.
3.promote to 提升为…，使升入…
The aim is to promote closer economic integration.
a campaign to promote adult literacy
4.aspire to 渴望，希求
For us, it's something that we may aspire to but can never attain.
Mary is ambitious enough to aspire to conversational fluency in Chinese in four months.